The Office Party
Here I am in the vast and unforgiving expanse of the corporate desert, where temperatures can spike to a swelt’ring 79 degrees during the annual holiday gala, or when Joanne, a chronically chilly secretary, is in charge of the thermostat. Don’t be fooled by the sterile nature of this office’s post-modern design; this place is lit’rally teeming with parasites. Last year, four human resource employees were rushed to the hospital after consuming copious amounts of ranch dip, and one of the office’s more buxom interns purportedly contracted syphilis in the copy room — just two examples of exactly how inhospitable this hellhole can be.
Tonight, I’ll demonstrate how to get from the conference room to the Valley of Cubicles without getting sucked into the maddening abyss known by indigenous peoples as Karaoke Corner. I begin by fashioning a shield from the cold-cut party tray, and a blunt spear by snapping together several dry-erase markers. Now, watch as I crawl military-style beneath the buffet table and toward the sparse forest of potted rubber trees. The sap of the rubber tree is renowned for its antiseptic properties, which would come in handy for the rug burn I’ve already procured over the past three meters, but unfortunately, these rubber trees are actually rubber.
Now things get gnarly. From my vantage point behind the recycling bin, I can see close to two dozen inebriated co-workers, and the excruciating din of festivities is rivaled only by that of the Nicaraguan howler monkey. Good thing I’ve found a partially smashed cockroach here on the carpeting; it will be an invaluable source of protein for the rest of my journey.
Bugger! That tastes less like a cockroach and more like a four-day old prawn! My mistake. It is a four-day old prawn. My only hope of not coming down with dysentery at this point is to make a hasty beeline to the tray of potent Jell-o shots in Cubicle #9. Four or five of those will ward off any chances of life-threatening diarrhea, but will likely land me right where I didn’t want to be, doing what I did last year: in Karaoke Corner singing B-side Wham!
Christmas With The In-Laws
Don’t get me wrong, I love my Missus, but I’d rather marinate myself in wildebeest broth and sleep with the Anasazi cannibals than bunk with my teetotaling in-laws. Proof of how bad it can be? All three of my wife’s former husbands took their lives during holiday visits: one bludgeoned himself with a turkey leg while my feral mother-in-law told her pageant queen story; another hanged himself with Christmas lights in the garage after a round of “Little House on the Prairie” charades; and another, in a noble attempt to get drunk, died after a desperate cocktail made from rubbing alcohol and potpourri.
But I’m here to prove not only my devotion to The Wife, but also my survival skills. If I can traverse the wily Panamanian mangroves and scale the glaciers of Greenland, surely I can handle a four-hour game of Pictionary with Hal. If I can drink the vomit of a Tibetan yak and then crawl inside its carcass for warmth, surely I can stomach Judith’s corn pudding.
Just as soon as I finish off this flask of Irish potato moonshine and crawl from the boxwood hedge, I’ll go inside. I’ve brought along what every good husband would bring: gift cards from Home Depot, a Bowie knife, and a roll of duct tape. If those don’t make my visit more tolerable, I’ll just check myself and my crew into the local Red Roof Inn.
Not that I’ve ever done anything like that before.
New Year’s Day
A New Year’s Day hangover can sometimes get a wanker thinking: Why did I have to go and drink so bloody much? Who in the name of mythical viper pits do I think I am? And why am I missing a testicle?
It probably has a little to do with RumpleMinze, a little to do with ego, and a lot to do with the local zoo. Orangutans, captive or wild, typically do not respond well to unsolicited back massages. They also do not appreciate you using their dung to illustrate fire-building techniques, nor are they too keen about participating in “body shots” — even if it is a holiday.
In my opinion, the best way to overcome the devastating psychological and physical effects of New Year’s Eve is to book the next helicopter flight to the Himalayans. On the way there, indulge in Mother Nature’s hangover cure by gnawing on a willow branch and applying a warm poultice of gingko leaves to your armpits. Maybe indulge in a couple of rare bison steaks and a smuggled cigar or two. Then make a resolution to regain your pride and your reputation, maybe even your right bollock.
Before you can say “Bob’s Your Uncle,” you’ll be parachuting into the great unknown — with only a flint, a pair of socks, and a pissed-off cameraman — starting the year off right.